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Consuming Impulse/Testimony of the Ancients

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★★★★★
(10 Reviews)

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UK twofer combines the Dutch death metaller’s 1989 albums, ’Consuming Impulse’ & ’Testimony Of The Ancients’, both are unavailable domestically. Roadrunner. 2003.

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  • These guys are unbelievable. I picked this up with the Gorguts “Considered Dead/The Erosion of Sanity” double cd and I must say, they are both worth the 18.99 price tag. Roadrunner is trying to resurrect what made them the label they were before 2000. With the “Two from the Vault” releases, they are releasing two cds for the price of one, mainly old school death metal that made them successful. The thing that gets me is they let some 20 bands go and signed all Nu-Metal when the movement was big. Now that it’s dying, they realize no real extreme metal bands (Cradle of Filth doesn’t count, if black metal or supposed black metal as they are got any more mainstream it would be sick) want to sign to their label because of the crappy treatment.

    Anyway, the music is great, the production is top notch, and listening to Martin van Drunen pre-Asphyx is a blast. Get them.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you don’t own both of these already, you need to buy this right now. Pestilence was one of the best, and most brutal Death / Thrash Metal outfits to ever be created. The pure brutality displayed here cannot be measured. It’s incredible….

    The early 90’s spawned some of the best Death Metal we’ve ever heard, and Pestilence was one of the best IMO. “Consuming Impulse” is raw, and down right terrifying at times. This is also one of my favorite releases back in the day, and to hear it now, over 10 years later, I still get chills. BRUTAL TO THE CORE!!!

    “Testimony” is yet another excellent offering by Pestilence. It’s cleaner, and more mature than “Consuming Impulse”. It’s also a different singer. That’s by no means a bad thing either, it packs one ferocious punch. The truth be told, “Testimony” may be a more favorable listen, but “Consuming Impulse” is where it all started, and it’s still my favorite Pestilence rlease….

    You get them both here!!!…If you enjoy the best that Death / Thrash Metal has to offer, and you don’t but this immidiately, you need serious help…

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I honestly didn’t know what to review for this since the reviewer below already did a better job and couldn’t have said it any better but I’ll try my best. Both these albums from Pestilence as you may know are classics and are true death metal masterpieces, Pestilence’s music is a combination of death and faster speed and thrash style riffs. It was released during the time period of the early 90’s when more influential death metal bands started arriving, I’m glad that roadrunner dicided to release these two awesome cds from their vaults and its like getting two albums for the price of one so its a bargain. Inside the cover you’ll find some liner notes telling you about the history of this prolific band from Holland (O.k. I wouldn’t exactely say prolific since they only had a few albums released!).

    The first album Consuming Impulse is my favorite of the two mainly because it sounds more raw and aggressive it’s as if each track is trying to prove something and its unrelentless brutality creates an amazing wall of sound. The whole album is flawless and to me it seems difficult to choose a favorite track but I have to say that Suspended Animation was great and they incorporated a synthesizer during the middle to make it sound more wierd and evil as if it was a gothic horror film, it doesn’t sound cheesy infact it helps the song sound better as the riff later uses the same sound as the synth to make an awesome headbanging track. Another highlight would be Chronic Infection and Out of the body which flow together very well and is very atmospheric. The singers vocals sound very twisted like a tortured soul and he sounds almost like John Tardy from Obituary so he sounds inhuman as he starts growling DEIFY THY MASTEEEERRRRRRR!!!!! yeah this is an album that has definitely stood out among the rest of the death metal groups and you will hear this immediately upon first listen that it was ahead of it’s time so its very essential and heavy as hell.

    Testimony Of The Ancients was slightly different as it has a more clear production, the band couldn’t move into a more brutal level so they searched to gain in intensity rather than in brutality. They came up with the lyrical contents that include H.P. Lovecraft and a sci/fi concept which was very clever instead of the usual death and gore type lyrics that death metal is usualy known for. Each track cuts with an interlude this is usaualy a wierd sound effect, the songs have a classical and jazz influence to them but still sound as brutal as the first album, for me the highlight of the album was Prophetic Revelations with its slow and sludgier sounding riff in the beginning of the song which sounds like a grinding machine I loved it infact this whole album is pure brilliance with lots of wailing guitar solos, the other great songs are Stigmatized (which will make your neck snap from all that headbanging), Twisted truth, Lost souls, Land of tears and Testimony. What else can I say YOU NEED TO GET THESE TWO ALBUMS FROM PESTILENCE NOW! STOP READING THIS REVIEW!.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Consuming Impulse- A pinnacle in death and thrash, this 1989 release, however dated it may be, is one of the strongest efforts by any band in the genre. Every track is killer and will tear the heads from the unsuspected. My personal favorites are “The Process Of Suffocation”, “The Trauma”, “Chronic Infection”, “Defy Thy Master”, and “Reduced To Ashes”.

    Testimony Of The Ancients- A solid, albeit dissimilar in many ways, follow-up to 1989’s Consuming Impulse. This album is very similar to Atheist’s Unquestionable Presence. The instrumental intros to each song are somewhat unnecessary but those can easily be skipped. A very different album than most in the genre and a true case of Pestilence’s constant ability to push the envelope and redefine what metal is and can sound. Not for everybody but those with the right kind of ears will be pleasantly surprised with what they hear. Out of print for too long, this along with its predecessor, was reissued in a two-disc set by Roadrunner in 2003.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Feeling nostalgic, I recently ordered this set, the jewel of Roadrunner Records’ “Two from the Vault” series of two-for-one reissues, and now I can’t seem to get it out of the CD player.
    The package collects 1989’s “Consuming Impulse” and 1991’s “Testimony of the Ancients” by Pestilence, Holland’s superb answer to the first wave of real death metal. The forerunners of the genre were spawning in Florida and England but “Impulse” was regarded as something of a landmark at the time, in large part due to the tortured vocals of Martin Van Drunen, who was also posing as the group’s bass player at the time. By his own admission, Van Drunen had been hired as the lead vocalist, but as Pestilence had no bassist at the time, they handed him an instrument and told him to play. His inexperience resulted in guitarist Patrick Mameli playing all the bass lines on “Impulse” and its rawer predecessor, “Maleus Malefecarum.” By the time of the release of “Consuming Impulse”, Van Drunen had become a true vocal maniac, somewhere between Jeff Beccera of Possessed and John Tardy of Obituary, comparisons I certainly don’t take lightly. He screams like his shorts are on fire throughout the album, giving distinctive character to the violent riffery of Mameli and newly recruited second guitarist Patrick Uterwijk.
    The musical backdrop combines thrash-metal aggression with a burgeoning technicality that would come to full fruition on later releases. In a few spots on the CD, Mameli and Uterwijk step out of typical death metal confines by blending seperate rhythm guitar parts for a deeper web of sound, most notably on the fan favorite “Out of the Body.” They also suggest their later prog tendencies with the quirkily timed opening riffs of “Echoes of Death.” A personal favorite, lyrically and musically, is the eerie, keyboard-tinged “Suspended Animation”, probably the most interesting sci-fi scenario on the disc. Van Drunen and murderous drummer Marco Foddis trade off writing lyrics for the album, touching on many standard themes of horror, religion, pollution, etc., and while neither was an ace with the English language yet, “Suspended Animation” could be the synopsis for a Twighlight Zone episode.
    Van Drunen hits a vocal peak toward the end of the album with “Deify Thy Master”, a shrieking fit that seemingly had him puking blood on the studio walls. Throughout the CD, producer Harris Johns is able to use what is obviously a low budget to its fullest, with every sound pounding from the speakers like it has something to prove.
    Fast forward two years, and one lineup change has morphed Pestilence into an almost completely different band: Van Drunen, shockingly, has exited from the band, joining Asphyx, and with no way to properly replace him, Mameli steps into the role of guitarist/vocalist with admirable gusto. “Testimony of the Ancients” sees a stylistic shift beyond just the difference between the voices of Mameli and Van Drunen: the CD feels almost like a concept album, with 30-second interludes of samples, melodic guitars, and keyboards courtesy of Kent Smith (who provided similar creepy moments on Obituary’s “Cause of Death” album)in between each song. The lyrics, now almost exclusively penned by Foddis, have improved substantially and tell tales of conjuring demons from pits of lost souls amidst revelations of Lovecraftian alternate universes and such. Mameli’s diction is clear and concise; it’s possible to understand most of what he says without consulting the lyric sheet. Overall, his sound is most easily compared to “Leprosy”/”Spiritual Healing”-era Chick Schuldiner.
    The production is squeaky-clean Scott Burns all the way, with the drums settling back into the mix rather than pummeling your face off, and a nice, pleasant studio crunch in the guitars not heard on the earlier albums. The biggest step forward musically is the selection of the riffs themselves. Each riff on the disc is memorable and easy to follow, even in the most technical sections. Pestilence had truly learned how to write good songs by this point in their career. Foddis’ English is tremendously improved, and his lyrics (as well as those of Mameli’s sole lyrical contribution on the title track) are actually RHYTHMIC, falling in catchy, tribal cadences, particularly on “Twisted Truth”. There is a stony, bendy hook riff on “Prophetic Revelations” which acts as a super satisfying intro and outro, melting through a moaning porn sample into Mameli’s “Testimony”, which is direct, simple, and absolutely superb. The band goes full-on prog metal for sections of the closer, “Stigmatized”, which paves the way for Pestilence’s final studio record, “The Sphere”, a CD that pushed them to another level of technicality before the group disbanded at a creative impasse. Finally, a noteworthy contribution is made to the CD by then-Cynic bassist Tony Choy, who frankly isn’t given much of a chance to spread his wings except on the bass solo “Soulless.” Choy would miss out on the chance to play on Cynic’s sole offering, “Focus”, but would later become a full-time member of Atheist after guesting on this disc.
    I can’t say enough good things about this set. If you don’t own it or plan to own it, you suck.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now